Pietermaritzburg - The hype ahead of this week’s Dusi Canoe Marathon
reached fever pitch late on Thursday afternoon as eager paddlers bidding for a
spot in the race's Charity Batch set a new record for money raised for the
race's three charities.
As the hammer went down on the last email bid at exactly 6pm, the 60 successful
bidders had raised R381 712.61, exceeding the previous record of R368 020 set
With the 2015 Dusi being dedicated to its founder and inaugural winner Dr Ian
Player, who passed away late last year, the Charity Batch, which sets off in a
privileged early start time, will be known as the Dr Ian Player Memorial
Player's Magqubu Ntombela Memorial Foundation, named after his lifelong guide
and mentor, is one of three charities that will share the proceeds from the
auctioned batch, along with the Dusi Umngeni Conservation Trust (DUCT) and the
Dusi Valley Paddlers Fund.
As the bidding deadline drew closer paddlers desperate to secure an early
morning start in the Charity Batch had to starting raising their own bids as
the amount needed to make the cut-off of 60 craft started to balloon.
Repeating their generous feat of last year, the kudos for the biggest bid went
to Durbanites Charles Webber of CMH Motor Holdings and surfski aficionado Billy
Harker, who together chipped in R21 000 for their place in the batch.
Among the Charity Batch bidders was current world marathon champion Hank
McGregor, who will be paddling with his wife Pippa.
The Magqubu Ntombela Memorial Foundation is committed to encouraging the youth
of today to embrace nature and protect our heritage, to support conservation
and community-based projects and conserve the Earth and its biodiversity.
The Dusi Umngeni Conservation Trust (DUCT) was set up by a group of concerned
paddlers anxious to address the ecological threats to the two river valleys
that the race runs through, and has become a full time environmental trouble
shooter and problem solver responsible for considerable cleanup and reparation
of the river eco-systems.
The Dusi Valley Paddlers Fund channels money raised through Dusi entry fee
levies and charity batch bids into projects identified by the chiefs in the
valley that the race moves through, as having significant value to the local
residents, and the visibility to showcase the contributions of the paddlers.
The 64th edition of the Dusi Canoe Marathon takes place from Camps Drift in
Pietermaritzburg to Blue Lagoon in Durban from Thursday 19 to Saturday 21
February 2015. More information can be found at www.dusi.co.za